This was the day for the Bosphorus cruise. The traditional boats start from Eminönü but it is best to check the timetable
. At this time of the year the boat starts only at 10.35 in morning. Better be at the port 30 minutes in advance. In the first photo you see
There are lots of boats on the Bosphorus – I presume they are all fishing. You’ll find some more at my Smugmug
Now we have reached Bebek just before the second Bosphorus Bridge (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge). This photo shows where our family lived in the 1960’s. Arifipasa korusu. The top-most apartment house on the left side is where we lived. On top behind the woods are the roofs of Robert College, now Bosphorus University. Our school was on the other side.
The Bosphorus cruise doesn’t stop at Bebek, the closest stop is Kanlica on the Asian side just on the other side of the bridge. This where you have to taste the famous Kanlica yoghurt. Up the road is Khedive Palace or Hidiv Kasri, the palace of the Egyptian Khedive Abbas II (1892-1914).
The two following photos are of Sini and Marja in the Hidiv Kasri garden.
We took a small boat from Kanlica to Bebek – somehow I managed not to take a photo of it, but I am sure someone else did. But I did try to get a picture of this bird that is known to fly back and forth on the surface of Bosphorus. I remember from childhood that there is a legend about the birds closing the strait of Bosphorus at its narrowest point and thereby saving someone from something… I had to check what it was about. However I could find this: “Even now, the
Turks maintain that the dusky shearwaters that daily
travel in mysterious flocks up and down the Bosphorus
are animated by condemned human souls.” And “Argonautica, concerning the Symplegades — the two
islands that stand on opposite sides of the Bosphorus
“mouth.” It appears that these islands were wont in
days ancient even to Apollonius to swing together and
crush any living thing that attempted to pass between
them and enter the Black Sea. Phineas, who lived on the shore near by told Jason, who had arrived there on his
journey in search of the Golden Fleece, and who wanted
to go on into the Euxine, how to escape the fatal grasp
of the island-gates. He was to sail or row the Argo as
near as he dared to the entrance, then let loose a dove.
The bird would fly onward, the islands would rush to-
gether to crush it; and the instant they had swung back
Jason must drive his ship on between them before they
could close again. This plan, so clever except for the
poor bird, succeeded, and broke the magic spell. Living
heroes had passed safely between them, and ever since
then the malicious Symplegades have remained stable.
This story has been scientifically analyzed by the
mythologists in various ways, but none has deigned to
consider why a dove was chosen, rather than some other
bird, as the martyr of the occasion. I am inclined to think
it was because among sailors of those days the dove was
believed to help them ; and that, in turn, was owing to its
association with the “foam-born” Aphrodite, who was
worshipped by mariners, especially about Cyprus, as god-
In the old times we would go to eat fish in the restaurants on the Bosphorus shore. This time we were too worried about our budget to try any of the Bebek restaurants.
So we bought simit instead.
In the Bebek park the old lady was feeding pigeons.
Tankers: have they become bigger. I hope this one doesn’t crash into anyones house.
As a kid I liked to look into the cars to find out how fast they could drive (Tapani was trying to tell me that the speedometer doesn’t prove how fast the car can drive…). I would surely have looked into this one.